Stealing from restaurants

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  #1  
Old 12-03-2007, 01:38 PM
donbettyr donbettyr is offline
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Default Stealing from restaurants

I have recently found the only bad thing I have heard about The Villages. I recently overheard several customers in different restaurants try to get a free meal by complaining after they have eaten half or more of their meal. Last week I did an informal survey at 4 local reataurants - 1 a Golf course restaurant, 2 major chain reataurants, and 1 a privately owned family restaurant. I asked in each what percent of your customers try to rob you of meals by complaining after they have eaten a good portion of their meal. The answers where quite consistent - 30-33 percent!! It is a sad commentary on my fellow residents if that many have no ethics and attempt robbery. Probably some of those go directly from church on Sunday morning directly to a restaurant where they lie and attemp to steal. The manager of one restaurant said the person who really gets the short of the stick is the waiter - as these people usually do not tip either!! Anyone else have the same experience? If you can not afford to go to a restaurant, do not go, but donn't steal, lie and be deceitful. It makes me worry about dealing with other Village residents in other matters, if that many are unethical in a restaurant. Let me know your experience.
  #2  
Old 12-03-2007, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

Not sure why TV is any differeent than the general population.

There is a very simple answer to this. DO NOT as a restaurant manager always comp the meal over a complaint. Simply tell the customer that you are sorry that they didn't enjoy their meal, that you will try better next time and wish them a nice day.

This is restaurant management 101 (heck just watch Gorden Ramsey's kitchen nightmares show). Unless this is a well known customer it is not worth attempting to appease them. They won't be back anyway and you are throwing the profits away.
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Old 12-03-2007, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

I really don't think this problem is unique to TV either.

We once went to eat at a local diner in NYC with neighbors. The four of us ordered, with the wife of the other couple ordering a hot roast beef with no gravy. She ate the typical diner-sized stack of meat, picked up the last piece, found some grave under it. She demanded a complete new meal and got it, which she then put in a take-home box.

My wife and I were MORTIFIED!

These folks (who we never went to eat with again, and in fact never stayed in touch) will be retiring somewhere! And I am sure they (or she) hasn't changed!
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Old 12-03-2007, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

I can't believe what I'm reading
This is such a sad scenario, like someone said it would the last time I would socialize with a couple who did such a thing
Handie :joke:
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2007, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

I spent forty years in the restaurant business in the New York and Long Island area. I discovered long ago that everyone that eats, believes that they are an expert on the operation of a restaurant. That maybe the reason for the following statistics that were published in the New York restaurant owners association newsletter " The failure rate for first time restaurant owners is 90 to 95%. For seasoned owners that open up their second location the failure rate is 35 to 40% " Tough business isn't it ! This may sound a little foolish to some of you that read this but, running a restaurant is risky business and you have to be on the premise from the opening bell to closing, seven days a week. You have to be aware of the front of the room and the back of the room as well as greeting your patrons by shaking hands and welcoming their guests. Customer complaints must be handled by an experienced person with a lot of people skills. You can always tell when someone is trying to get away with something and you have to handle each event based on it's own merit. There are many "tricks" of the trade that can lead to a satisfactory outcome for both parties. There is not enough time or space here for me to teach " Restaurant 101 " Let it suffice for me to say that qualified experienced managers, owners service staff etc. Can keep the folks happy and the profits up.

My experience tells me that there are many, many more good, honest and appreciative people then there are those that would cheat, especially at "The Villages"

So, happy dining, over tipping much appreciated !!!!!!
  #6  
Old 12-03-2007, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

Beartrack - That is what i was hinting at but I have very limited experience in this arena. My experience is from a catering point of view not a single site restaurant. I do know that just comping a meal is not always the best course. I agree that having a personal touch is very important in a successful restaurant owner/manager.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:26 PM
Peggy D Peggy D is offline
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

It comes down to integrity. And some people don't have any in any aspect of their life
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2007, 03:02 PM
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Peggy, I think that you are being a little negative here. You see as a restaurant owner I can not afford the luxury of judging peoples integrity. It is my job to overcome their attempts at larceny. I only judge the incident, then handle it. I have found over the years that there is a little larceny in most people. If I use all the people skills that I possess and treat these people with dignity ( whether they deserve it or not ) then they begin to like me personally and it becomes very hard for them to try again. They will almost always come back to see their friend, the owner or manager of now, their favorite restaurant. It's a lot like the story of your neighbors dog. If you do not like your neighbor, their barking dog will drive you crazy but, If you like your neighbor, you hardly ever hear that dog.

Beartrack
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

Quote:
Originally Posted by beartrack
Peggy, I think that you are being a little negative here. You see as a restaurant owner I can not afford the luxury of judging peoples integrity. It is my job to overcome their attempts at larceny. I only judge the incident, then handle it. I have found over the years that there is a little larceny in most people. If I use all the people skills that I possess and treat these people with dignity ( whether they deserve it or not ) then they begin to like me personally and it becomes very hard for them to try again. They will almost always come back to see their friend, the owner or manager of now, their favorite restaurant. It's a lot like the story of your neighbors dog. If you do not like your neighbor, their barking dog will drive you crazy but, If you like your neighbor, you hardly ever hear that dog.

Beartrack
Nice sentiment about dogs and dignity.
  #10  
Old 12-04-2007, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

Many decades ago, I served. Now, my daughter is a server. Some things never change. What hurts is that the server is blamed when the food comes back, at least in some restaurants. If a customer walks out without paying the check, it is the server who has to pay that bill.

When a customer eats over half the food and then complains, I've found most managers won't comp the food unless it is a regular. However, the server usually gets a lecture about not checking with the customer earlier to see how the food was. So, no tip for the server, a black mark on the record and a chewing out because someone wanted a free meal.

I really wish people would understand the one hurt the most is the one who can afford it the least -- the servers.
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  #11  
Old 12-04-2007, 04:57 PM
Peggy D Peggy D is offline
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

I don't feel I'm being negative at all. Just stating a fact. Its called "Human Nature".

Do you honestly feel that a person who complains about a meal to get a free one, does so only with food service? Guess again. They will try the same sort of tactic in other aspects of their life. I've seen it time and time again. If it works with food service, they feel it will work in other situations too.

A good example was my mother-in-law's companion/boyfriend. He would always complain about his meal when we went out and send it back. He admittedly did so on perpose to get a meal to-go It was embarrassing.

By the way, he was a retired restaurant owner!!!

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  #12  
Old 12-05-2007, 12:08 AM
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Dear Peggie, What exactly is your solution to "Human Nature" Do I understand that you would throw a blanket over every restaurant patron because a small percentage of them behave badly? I hope your remark about your mothers boyfriend being a person of poor character and " A retired restaurant owner" was not directed at me. If that was your intention then your "Human Nature" is hanging out for all to see. I believe that my responses have been benign and only meant to inform folks about a topic that I am very familiar with. Sorry if you somehow feel offended.
  #13  
Old 12-05-2007, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

Peggy D and Beartrack:

Thank you both for your insightful comments. Have a nice day
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2007, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: Stealing from restaurants

This "stealing" behavior is certainly "out there". But people in this "try to get it free" group represent small fraction....very small fraction of our community. Most restauranteurs try to get to know their customers personally.....it helps to generate repeat business and to learn about how the business is doing, menu suggestions, service etc. The "get it free ploy" works a few times....but not forever....and a good restaurant is not going to go under soley because of this unfornunate but uncommon customer behavior.
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